Table of Contents
As a lawyer, you are probably aware of your greatest strengths, such as your ability to provide calm counsel to clients, a deep understanding of relevant laws, strong advocacy skills, and/or talent in the courtroom. What may not be on the list is the strongest understanding of SEO and digital marketing principles. Just as you may delegate more administrative tasks to support staff, it simply may not be worth your limited time and energy to try to undertake learning SEO. If you are ready to hire a law firm SEO agency, Law Quill can discuss your budget and how we can improve your search rankings, and get you more clients (because isn’t that what it’s all about?)
What Is an SEO Agency?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process that is implemented to help raise a website’s search ranking position. An SEO agency employs various strategies so that your website appears higher on the results that Google and other search engines display when a prospective customer looks for your services.
Why does this matter? Most people do not look past the first page of search results. Therefore, if your ranking is not higher, most people will not even notice your online presence. For example, if you are a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer and you are the 17th result on the second page, 16 other Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are currently ranking higher than you and more likely to get business from the internet than you are. With the right SEO campaign, you could potentially surpass these competitors.
Can a Law Firm Do Their Own SEO?
Can a person file a claim, a lawsuit, a divorce, and file for a trademark themselves? Officially, yes. However, they won’t have the expertise you have.
So, the answer is yes, a law firm can do their own SEO, but it requires a significant investment of time, resources, and expertise. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a complex and ever-evolving field that involves a range of techniques and strategies to improve a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Here are some factors to consider:
- Expertise: SEO requires a deep understanding of how search engines work and what techniques are most effective in improving a website’s visibility and ranking. Lawyers and law firms may have some knowledge of SEO, but it may not be sufficient to achieve the desired results. Moreover, SEO techniques and best practices are constantly evolving, which requires ongoing education and training.
- Time and resources: SEO is a time-consuming process that requires a significant investment of resources, including time, personnel, and tools. A law firm that chooses to do its own SEO must be prepared to devote significant time and resources to the effort.
- Legal industry-specific considerations: Law firms must be aware of ethical considerations when engaging in SEO practices, such as avoiding misleading claims, disclosing advertising content, and avoiding prohibited conduct. Failure to adhere to ethical guidelines can lead to disciplinary action by the state bar or other regulatory authorities.
- Competition: The legal industry is highly competitive, and many law firms invest heavily in SEO to improve their visibility and attract new clients. A law firm that chooses to do its own SEO may face stiff competition and struggle to achieve the desired results.
Overall, while a law firm can do its own SEO, it may not be the most effective use of its time and resources. Working with an experienced SEO professional or agency can provide a law firm with the expertise, resources, and competitive edge it needs to succeed in today’s digital landscape.
How Long Does It Take To Learn SEO?
The time it takes to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can vary depending on a number of factors, including the individual’s background, experience, and level of dedication. Here are some factors to consider:
- Prior knowledge: Individuals with a background in marketing, web development, or related fields may have an easier time learning SEO, as they may already be familiar with some of the concepts and techniques involved.
- Learning style: Some people learn more quickly than others, and different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.) may affect how quickly someone is able to learn and apply SEO concepts.
- Level of dedication: Learning SEO requires a significant investment of time and effort. Individuals who are highly motivated and committed to learning may be able to master the basics of SEO in a matter of weeks, while others may take months or even years to become proficient.
- Evolution of SEO: SEO is a constantly evolving field, and new techniques and best practices are constantly emerging. As a result, even experienced SEO professionals must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in order to be effective.
Overall, while it is possible to learn the basics of SEO relatively quickly, becoming proficient and achieving real results typically requires ongoing learning and experimentation. It may take several months or even years of practice to become a skilled and effective SEO professional.
What Do Law Firm SEO Agencies Do?
SEO agencies employ various processes and strategies to try to make their customers’ websites more prominently displayed on Google and other search engines. They may create specific campaigns for each client, which may involve one or more of the following methods:
- Changing a website’s design, programming, or content
- Staying up to date with the latest Google algorithm changes and adapting a website to meet them
- Monitoring competitor’s websites and what is and is not working
- Conducting A/B testing for various pages and features
- Writing new content or updating previous content with specified keywords and SEO strategies
- Speeding up the website so that customers have a better user experience with it
- Adjusting meta information to notify search engines what the page is about
- Improving click-through rates with more specific and targeted title and meta descriptions
- Reorganizing the architecture of the website so content is better organized
- Improving the conversion rate of the website so interested visitors are funneled through the sales channel and become paying clients
- Building authoritative backlinks that reference your site
What to Look for in a Law Firm SEO Agency
Not all SEO agencies are alike. Some things to look for in a law firm SEO agency include:
There are many SEO agencies. However, there are only a few that focus exclusively on law firm websites. What may work in retail or for an HVAC company will simply not work for law firm websites. Just as there is a benefit of specializing in specific areas of the law, there is value in focusing exclusively on law firm websites as an SEO agency.
Any established SEO company will be able to point to specific results they have achieved, such as through client testimonials or improvements in search engine rankings that can be quantified.
Ownership of Work and Accounts
One drawback of working with some SEO agencies is that they will retain ownership of the content and website design. If you ever decide to cut ties with the firm, you will not own the intellectual property you invested in. We believe that once you pay for SEO services, your law firm should own the work.
Likewise, it is important that you have your own Google accounts for your analytics and ads. These accounts contain critical data that can help you make informed decisions about your business. You can always delegate work to your SEO agency, but you should be the account owner.
SEO agencies should not hide behind complex algorithms and smoke screens. They should be able to say in plain language what they are doing and how they bring value to your business. Transparency is important in any business model, but it is especially valuable when providing SEO services. You should be able to hold your SEO agency accountable for the work and the promises it makes.
Additionally, there should be transparency around pricing. Your budget will largely dictate your SEO campaign. It is important to understand what tools you will be responsible for paying for as part of your SEO campaign and which are included in the price. Additionally, if you increase your SEO budget, you should also have a clear understanding about what additional services you will receive. However, keep in mind that SEO work is largely manual in nature. If SEO agencies charge an extremely low price, they are likely using automated services that will be unlikely to move the needle for your search rankings.
How Is Law Firm SEO Different?
SEO for law firms is different from SEO for other types of businesses in several ways. Here are a few key differences to keep in mind:
- Competitive landscape: The legal industry is highly competitive, with many law firms competing for the same keywords and phrases. This means that law firms may need to invest more time and resources into SEO in order to stand out and attract potential clients.
- Geographic focus: Law firms typically serve a specific geographic area, such as a city or region. This means that local SEO is particularly important for law firms, as they need to ensure that they are ranking well in local search results and attracting clients in their target area.
- Ethical considerations: Law firms are subject to strict ethical guidelines when it comes to advertising and marketing. This means that law firm SEO must comply with these guidelines, which can limit the types of techniques and strategies that can be used.
- Content focus: Law firm SEO often focuses heavily on content, as creating high-quality, informative content is a key way for law firms to establish their expertise and build trust with potential clients. This may include blog posts, articles, white papers, and other forms of content that provide value to clients and showcase the law firm’s knowledge and experience.
- Conversion focus: Unlike many other types of businesses, law firms typically have a long sales cycle and a high price point. This means that law firm SEO often focuses heavily on conversion optimization, with an emphasis on driving qualified leads and encouraging potential clients to take action, such as filling out a contact form or scheduling a consultation.
Overall, law firm SEO is a complex and specialized field that requires a deep understanding of the legal industry, ethical guidelines, and the unique challenges and opportunities faced by law firms in the online marketplace. Working with an experienced SEO professional or agency that specializes in law firm SEO can be a key way to achieve success in this competitive and complex field.
Tools Legal SEO Agencies Use
There are various tools that SEO agencies use to help them deliver results, including programs that identify keywords, measure how optimized your webpages are, and make suggestions for changes. However, some of the tools that SEO agencies use are the same tools that you have access to and should have an understanding about. Your SEO agency can prepare reports based on the critical data that these tools obtain.
Some tools available to analyze SEO data for law firms include:
Google Analytics is a digital platform that collects data from your various websites and apps so that you can receive insights into your business. The platform can help you understand web visitors’ full journey across your websites and apps. This allows you to better measure the return on investment of your marketing dollars.
It is essential to have Google Analytics set up so that you can see where you are starting in your SEO journey to measure your growth. This tool is free to use. Furthermore, most content management systems have plugins that integrate with Google Analytics. You can follow this step-by-step guide to set up your Google Analytics account.
In Google Analytics, you can cull data like traffic by source and goal completion by source. Traffic by source gives you information about how web traffic to your website evolves over time based on the marketing channel that is driving traffic to your site. Goal competition by source shows you where web traffic originated that resulted in a goal conversion, such as becoming a client or contacting your law firm.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another free, yet valuable, tool from Google. This service lets you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website’s presence in the company’s search engine. You can view various metrics related to search performance and your users’ experience to improve your search rankings and generate more web traffic. Google publishes a step-by-step guide to help you set up Google Search Console for your website.
Backlinks Are Key To Your SEO Strategy
Do you know about backlinks? If not, then it is time to hire a law firm SEO agency to help you!
Here are some things to keep in mind about backlinks and their role in SEO:
- What are backlinks? Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Search engines view backlinks as a signal that your website is a valuable and authoritative source of information. The quality and relevance of the sites that link to your site are important factors to consider.
- How do backlinks help SEO? Backlinks can help improve your website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines. When a reputable website links to your site, it signals to search engines that your site is trustworthy and valuable. This can lead to higher search engine rankings and increased visibility in search results.
- Quality vs. quantity: While backlinks are important for SEO, the quality of the backlinks is more important than the quantity. High-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites will have a greater impact on your SEO than a large number of low-quality backlinks.
- Natural vs. artificial: Search engines prefer natural, organic backlinks that occur naturally as a result of high-quality content and other factors. Artificial or manipulative backlinking practices, such as buying links or using link farms, can actually harm your SEO and lead to penalties from search engines.
Overall, backlinks are an important part of a comprehensive SEO strategy, but they should be viewed as just one piece of the puzzle. A successful SEO strategy should also focus on creating high-quality, valuable content, optimizing website structure and navigation, and other factors that contribute to a positive user experience and high search engine rankings.
If you do not have the ability to grow your law firm through effective and authoritative backlinks, then perhaps it truly is time for you to contact Law Quill!
Law Quill’s 6 Fast Methods to Improve Your Law Firm Website’s SEO
Here are a few methods that we have learned in our time as a leading law firm SEO agency can help you improve your site’s search engine rankings:
- Include detailed meta descriptions that include your target keywords early in the description. Keep your meta descriptions under 160 characters. Try to answer the following questions with your meta descriptions: What is interesting about the page? What is different about the page? Why should someone view your page about the topic instead of a competing law firm’s page?
- Use optimized title tags that are based on your target keywords and results from your content management system. Title tags should generally be less than 60 characters. Include keywords early in the title tag.
- Prominently position page titles. Keep your titles clear and concise, but optimize them with your targeted keyword.
- Include strong content on your page that answers questions that visitors would want answers to. Information should be legally accurate and current.
- Include strong calls to action that ask the reader to contact your law firm, download a guide, or take other measurable steps to move them through the sales funnel.
- Add relevant internal links to your website so that more of your content can be indexed and your pages’ relationship can clearly be connected.
- Make your site more engaging with videos, pictures, and other types of content.
Why Is Law Quill the Right Law Firm SEO Agency for You?
You have enough on your hands with a busy law practice. A law firm SEO agency can do the work necessary to help you achieve optimal results. Law Quill can create a strategic SEO campaign that considers your budget, unique value proposition, region, and key metrics. Law Quill’s customers have stayed with us for years because we have produced impressive results and provide small and mid-sized law firms the personal attention they need and deserve. Our founder, Annette Choti, is a recognized digital marketing expert for attorneys who appears on prestigious websites and podcasts.
At Law Quill, we focus exclusively on law firm marketing. We have a narrow focus that has proven time and time to benefit our amazing clients. Learn more about our services and how we can help as your law firm SEO agency by scheduling a Zoom call or emailing us at email@example.com.